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OK!  Did you have fun with the last tutorial?  Are you ready for another cute little design?  Lets dive right in then shall we!

Cost: $6 or so

Supplies:

  • Access to a computer that has the internet and your fabulously creative mind.
  • Something to stick your design on when your done (shirt, bag, burp cloth, pillow, etc.)
  • Printable cotton sheet(s).  The one I used is from Walmart and madeAvery.  You can get a pack of 3 sheets (the size of standard computer paper) for around $6.  I made 8 t-shirt appliques out of the 3 sheets.
  • Scizzors
  • Thread and sewing machine.  (Don’t worry, this is super beginner seamstress stuff.)
  • An iron.

1.  The first thing you want to do is get online and go to www.picnik.com.  If you don’t already have an account create one now for free or buy the premium version.  You will only need the free version for this tutorial.

2.  Next find your file “blank white” that you have saved to your computer from previous tutorials (c’mon, I have to just assume that you have done EVERY tutorial on my blog by now right?! :) ) or just simply google “blank white” and save a blank white jpeg file to your computer.  Then upload the “blank white” file to picnik.  It will then pop up under the “Edit”tab.  Here you can resize it or rotate it if you need to.

3.  Next head over to the “Create” tab and find the “Text” button there.

4.  In the text box start typing the alphabet, 4 letters per line.  Use “COURIER NEW” font.  Leave the font color black and size the text to fit your blank image well.

5.  Now determine what word(s) you would like to “hide” within the alphabet.  Since I am using this to make sibling shirts I used “BIG BRO” for mine.  Figure out where you’d like to hide your words.  This works best if you hide your words in place of a letter that falls correctly within the alphabet.  For example, I kept the letter “I” in the appropriate placement within the alphabet and put “B” and “G” around it.  Once you determine where you’d like your words, go back to the text box and replace those letters with spaces.
6.  Click out of that text and add new text in the text box.  Since my “B” in “BIG” fell on a different line as the “IG” I had to add the “B” separately than the “IG”.  Also, change the color of this text to something that will stand out from the rest of the alphabet.  Resize your text to fit the size of the alphabet text.
7.  And thats pretty much the design!  I also decided to fill in the gap at the end of the alphabet after the “YZ” with a cute little graphic just to add something fun and make the entire design uniform.  To do this I just went to the “Stickers” tab and found “Common Symbols”.  I like the truck and the car graphic and added that to the end in the same color as the hidden words.
8.  And thats pretty much the design!  Customize it as you see fit or just use my templates to make your own sibling shirts.  At this point you want to save this design to your computer and the click “Continue Editing” in picnik if you’d like to change the “BIG” to “LIL” or whatnot.
9.  Now, to print this off on your printable cotton, open up a print layout program on your computer and size these and lay them out the way you’d like.  I sized the “lil bro” design a bit smaller than the “big bro” design because my son’s shirts aren’t the same size.  When it seems to be how it needs to be print out your designs on printable cotton.
10.  Cut around your design and following the directions on the printable cotton packaging, iron them in place on your t-shirt (or item of choice).

11.  If you’re not keen on sewing you could be done at this point but I’m not sure how well the applique will hold up to washing.  I simply sewed quickly around the edges to secure it.

And thats it!  Have fun with this design and customize it all you want!

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I’m finally forcing myself to get around to doing a cute“Big Sis” “Lil Sis” tshirt project I’ve been meaning to do for a friend of ours who had twin girls a while back.   Anyway, this is kind of going to be the first tutorial of 3;  the first one being on how to create this “I love my ____button” using (my favorite) Picnik, the second tutorial will be on how to create a custom “alphabet” design with hidden words, and the third is going to be on how to create a funky eye-chart “I love my _____” design.  After I made these I realized that I just did all the work for you anyway (you’re welcome) and that you could just use my templates to print out yourselves as is.  But, I figured I’d do the tutorials anyway so that you can really customize them to your liking.  For example, with this design you could create it yourself in Picnik and change it to “I love my dog”, or “I love chocolate”  or whatever you think you love.  Or you could even get really personal and use someones name.  So, here you go!  Have fun customizing these designs all you want and appliqueing them to anything that tickles your fancy!  This is going to change your life.  Okay, well maybe not, but it will open up a lot of options for creating one-of-a-kind custom shirts, bags, pillows, whatever!  Are you intrigued?  Good.  Lets get this party started.

Cost: $6 or so

Supplies:

  • Access to a computer that has the internet and your fabulously creative mind.
  • Something to stick your design on when your done (shirt, bag, burp cloth, pillow, etc.)
  • Printable cotton sheet(s).  The one I used is from Walmart and made Avery.  You can get a pack of 3 sheets (the size of standard computer paper) for around $6.  I made 8 t-shirt appliques out of the 3 sheets.
  • Scizzors
  • Thread and sewing machine.  (Don’t worry, this is super beginner seamstress stuff.)
  • An iron.

1.  The first thing you want to do is get online and go to www.picnik.com.  If you don’t already have an account create one now for free or buy the premium version.  You will only need the free version for this tutorial.

2.  Next find your file “blank white” that you have saved to your computer from previous tutorials (c’mon, I have to just assume that you have done EVERY tutorial on my blog by now right?! 🙂 ) or just simply google “blank white” and save a blank white jpeg file to your computer.  Then upload the “blank white” file to picnik.  It will then pop up under the “Edit”tab.  Here you can resize it or rotate it if you need to.

3.  Now click on the “Create” tab at the top of the screen.  Then click on the “Stickers” tab.  Find “Geometric” in the left sidebar.  Click on the black circle and drag it and size it on your blank image.

4.  Next, grab another circle except now change the color of it to white and size it in the middle of the black circle to leave a circular black frame.

5.  Now, click on the “Text” tab at the top of the screen.  In the text box type “I (spacebar several times) my” and then apply it in the font of your choice.  I chose “Epilog”.  Then you can resize it and position it at the top center of your circle.

6.  Next, in the text box type “BIG SIS” (or Bro) or NewYork or RockyRoad or whatever you’d like to “love”.  Apply that and resize  and center it underneath the previous text.  I made my “BIG SIS” larger than my “I       my”.

7.  Almost done!  Now just go back to the “Stickers” tab and find the “Hand Drawn Hearts” tools and find a heart.  Drag and resize the heart to fit in between the “I” and the “my” text.

8.  And there you go!  You’ve made a super cute “I Love my BIG SIS” design to applique to your little ones t-shirt!  Now just save it to your computer and then go back in and click “Continue Editing” in picnik to swap out the “BIG” with“LIL'”.  Then save it again to your computer as a seperate file name and open them both up in a print layout program.

9.  Once you’ve arranged them in your print layout and have them sized how you’d like, print them out on a sheet of your printable cotton (follow the directions in the packaging).

10.  Cut around your design and following the directions on the printable cotton packaging, iron them in place on your t-shirt (or item of choice).

11.  If you’re not keen on sewing you could be done at this point but I’m not sure how well the applique will hold up to washing.  I simply sewed quickly around the edges to secure it.

And DONE!  Easy breezy!  Oh, and I also added some little bows out of scrap fabric for the twins’ shirts and then made a couple for my boys as well.  Here are the boys designs in case you just want to use mine instead of creating your own:

I loved how these turned out and hope you do too and go make your own!  You could use this design for SO many things!  Baby shower gifts, father’s day/mother’s day gifts, Valentine’s day gifts, wedding/engagement gifts, etc… Get creative with this!  The possibilities are literally endless!

Here are some sneak previews of the next tutorial…

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I did this project a while back and just realized I never posted it!  So I’m doing it now. Enjoy!

Cost: $6-8

Supplies:

  • A round wood board. Find them for about $1 at your craft store.
  • Chalkboard paint. Regular matte or satin black paint works well too.
  • A white paint pen.
  • A profile picture of your little one. (or whoever you’re doing this project for)
  • Paint brush.
  • Access to a computer with a basic photo editing software.

I did two of these (one of each of my boys) and I think they turned out so cute.  *TIP* This project would also be adorable with a dog face silhouette or as “His” and “Hers” memo boards.

1.  Take a picture of your subject (in my case each of my sons) close up and profile.

2.  Upload it into your computer.

3.  Resize it to fill about 3/4’s of a regular piece of computer paper.

4. Print it out and cut out the profile pic.  Set it aside.

5.  Paint your round wooden board with your black chalkboard paint.  This might take a couple of coats.  *TIP*  I use a simple foam craft brush to make the paint go on evenly instead of a regular paint brush.

6.  Once your board is dry, center your profile pic and trace around it with a pencil.  *TIP*  To make the silhouette more decorative, try to end the profile at the bottom with soft curving graceful lines that flow down a bit through the chest and back to avoid a “floating head” look.  This is hard to explain but you can just look at my pics and get a feel for what I mean.

7.  Pull the pic away and then trace over your pencil line with your paint pen.  *TIP*  You’ll most likely need to blot the paint pen on a scrap piece of paper first to get the ink flowing smoothly.  Try to use as few strokes as possible so that the paint from the pen doesn’t pool up anywhere.

8.  Now just wait for it to dry and hang it up somewhere!  You can use ribbon or a picture hook or just prop it up somewhere.  Wasn’t that easy breasy?!

 

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I’m back from visiting my best friend in Maryland and I’m ready to bust out some more great tutorials for you guys!  I had a BLAST at my friend’s house and took tons of pictures and even did some projects for my blog while I was there.  I babysat one afternoon while her and her hubby were out looking at furniture for their new house and the kids and I had some much fun taking pictures.  I wanted to create a photo-booth style photo strip for my friend of her kids being cute and silly and I think they turned out great.  So, I thought I’d do a tutorial on it and share my little shooting tips and techniques and editing.  So, here we go.

Cost: $0

Supplies: A couple of cute kids, or funny teens, or crazy adults… I had a friend who did this kind of thing at her wedding and hired a photographer to take photo-booth style pics of the guests.  It was SO FUN.  I only wish I would have thought of it at my wedding.

You’ll also probably want to hang a piece of fabric up or drape it over a table near a large window.  I used my friend’s table with a white sheet draped over it in the kitchen.  Heres what the set-up looked like:

I know.  Super complicated right.  I used natural light coming through the window as side-lighting and the overhead kitchen light to light the tops of their heads a bit.  There are some really great books out there on using natural light in photography and are well worth the read if you are an amateur (or professional) photographer who loves taking pictures but doesn’t want to spend all your money on studio lighting equipment.

Anyway, I sat them down on the floor with the sheet as the backdrop and squish them in close together.  *TIP*  Although I didn’t do this, it might be a good idea to use a tri-pod to get consistent depth-of-field and zoom in your photos (like a photo-booth would have).  I then kneeled down at their eye level and started snapping!  At first they did the standard “smile at the camera” stuff but before long they got silly and the great faces started coming out.  *TIP* When shooting kids, make sure you have a faster shutter speed.  They’re wiggly and it will cut down on blur.  Also, let them be silly!  Especially with these kind of pics, the sillier the better!  P.S.  Once again you don’t have to have a fancy camera to take good pictures.  I happen to have an Olympus DSLR but even a point and shoot would work just fine.  Real photo-booth pics aren’t taken with fancy equipment either.

Here is a look at what we got.  These are unedited or SOC (straight out of camera).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And thats them.  Aren’t they a crack up!  Wesley is 4 and a half and Katie is 3.  They are two of my favorite kids in the world. 🙂

1.  Set up your shooting area.  Sit your little people down (or they can stand, but kids will be more still if they’re sitting) in front of your backdrop.  Start snapping pics.  *TIP* Give them direction by telling them to act serious, silly, happy, sad, angry, tough, etc.  You might need to stop periodically to show them the pics (kids LOVE to see pictures of themselves, especially when funny faces are involved).

2.  Once you have all the pics you’d like, upload them to your computer and sign in to Picnik.  Upload them to picnik and do any “preliminary” editing that you feel is necessary: take out red eye, blemishes, crop, rotate, etc.  You pretty much want to maintain a uniform feel throughout the photos.  Try to keep the cropping and rotating the same as it would be if they were taken in an actual photo-booth.

3.  Once you have the photos the way you’d like them, find the “Collage” feature on the Picnik home page.

4. That will take you to the collage page where you can choose from several different layouts to create your collage.  Under “Basic” there is a collage layout with a column four photo style collage.  This is the one I’ll be using for my photo-booth style pics.

5. As you can see at the bottom of my picnik screen there is my “Photo Basket”.  If you have uploaded all your pics they will be shown there.  This is great because it allows you to just drag and drop the photos you’d like to use into the alloted collage spaces.

6.  Once you have the collage pics in, you can move them around in the frame, adjust the spacing, proportions, round the edges, change the color of the frame, etc.  I am going to space mine out a bit less, change the frame color to a true black, and round the edges a little.

7.  Once you get your collage how you’d like it hit “Done!” and it will take you to the editing page.  If you’d like you can go to the “Edit” tab and play around a bit with the exposure and contrast and other settings.  Then head over to the “Create” tab and click on “Effects” to display the effects toolbar.

8.  Next make your photo black and white by clicking on the “Black and White” tool and hitting “apply”.  For a digital style photo-booth picture you could be done at this point, but my goal with these are to make them into the real old-fashioned photo booth style pics so more editing is required.

9.  Next, hit the next tool down “Sepia” and play with the “fade” slider to get a soft sepia tint to your collage.  I set the “fade” on mine to 55%.  Hit “apply”.

10.  Now scroll down the effects toolbar to find “1960’s”.  Click that and us the “fade” slider to adjust the amount of grain and pink-ness that is showing in your collage.  I set mine to 70%.

11.  And there you have it!  Old photo-booth style pics of your cute little ones!

How fun was that!!?  If you’d like to keep reading, I’m going to continue on with this tutorial to show you some additional things you can do with Picnik to your photo-booth style pics.

– Add a wrinkly paper texture to your photo using Picnik’s premium tool “Texture” under the “Effects” toolbar. This even further enhances the old-photo look.

– Give your photo a retro wash by taking your photo collage from the black and white phase and using the “Tint” tool with an acid yellow-green color faded to about 65%.  Then you can further enhance the retro wash by using the “Cross Process” tool faded to about 65% as well.  I also used the “Gritty” tool (a premium feature) faded to 70% at 30% darkness to add contrast and pop to the retro photo-booth wash.

 

– You can also do a high-contrast color strip by using the “Boost” tool faded to 25% and then adding the “Ortonish” tool with the bloom at 0%, the brightness at 50%, and the fade at 0%.

 

–  THEN you can take that collage (from above) and give it a vintage rosy color wash by going back to you “Edit” tab, bringing down the contrast, and then using the “Tint” tool under the “Effects” tab again to tint it a soft rosy color.  I set my contrast to -45.  Then I set my “Tint” to a light rose color and faded it to 55%.

I could probably go on forever but the baby is crying so I’ll leave you to it!  Happy picniking! 🙂

UPDATE 2/19:  Here are some more photo booth style pics my family and I recently did.


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shadow puppets
monsters vs aliens shadow puppets

I’m a sucker for stuff like this.  I love puppets and dress-up and playing pretend.  I think I make stuff like this in order to live vicariously through my kids. 🙂  This is a super cheap and easy project that the kids (and you if you’re like me) will LOVE and play with over and over again.

Heres the breakdown:

Cost: $4 or less for all 6 puppets

Supplies:

  • Foamies large foam sheet (the thick sheet) in black.  You can get this at the craft store.
  • Small wooden dowels.  These are sometimes at the Dollar Store or you can find them at the craft store.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • A pencil.
  • My monster and aliens templates.
  • A couple of hole punches in different sizes.  I used a regular single hole punch and an eyelet hole punch.
  • Hot glue gun and glue.
  • Black felt if you’d like.

1.  Draw up and cut out your own monster and alien templates, or use mine (because my mama taught me that sharing makes friends).

Monster and Alien Puppet Template 1

Monster and Alien Puppet Template 1

Monster and Alien Template 2

Monster and Alien Template 2

2.  Trace the monster and alien templates onto you foamies sheet with a pencil.

3. Cut out your monster/alien.  Add details (multiple eyes, tentacle suckers, lights, etc.) with your hole punch(es).  Get creative and have fun!  You can’t mess it up!

4.  Glue the dowel to the back of the shadow puppet with hot glue.  To give the puppet some added stability I recommend gluing the dowel about half way up the puppet (if it doesn’t interfere with some eye balls or details).  You can also glue a small piece of black felt to cover the dowel and reinforce that the dowel is securely attached to the puppet.

All done!  Now set up a white sheet and a flashlight and put on a show! 🙂

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Funny Face Plate

My little boy Peyton is a ridiculously picky eater.  I don’t know if it is a result of his prematurity or his strong-will.  Either way, I’m desperately trying ways to get him to eat new foods.  Presently his diet consists of yogurt, cereal, and crackers and he refuses to eat anything green…except for avocados (which I think is weird).  Anyway, I saw these plates online when I was researching picky-eater tips and I loved the idea:

But of course thought I could customize it and make my own.  This is probably the easiest yet most beneficial project I’ve done so far!  Peyton LOVES his plate and is a lot more willing to try green been hair or an apple slice bow-tie.

Heres the breakdown:

Cost: About $4.  I got the paint at the craft store and the plate at the Dollar Store.

Supplies:

  • An oven-safe plate.
  • Black glass paint or paint pen.  I wish my craft store had a glass paint pen as it would’ve been easier but I ended up using a small paint brush and Folk Art Enamels paint instead and it worked fine.
  • A sharpie marker.
  • A face template if you’re not confident in your own artistic abilities.  You will need some tracing paper or tissue paper to trace the template onto the plate.
  • An oven.

OK then, lets do this!

1. Clean your plate so that the paint can adhere to the clean surface. *TIP* An unpolished rougher style plate works best with this kind of paint.  Especially after multiple uses and washings.

2. Draw your face onto your plate with a sharpie marker.  I just winged it but I drew up a non-gender specific face template for you if you’d like to use it.  Just add eyebrows for a boy or lashes/lips for a girl.

face plate template

3.  Use a glass paint pen or a thin paintbrush and black glass paint and trace over your sharpie lines.

4.  Bake your plate according to glass paint instructions.

Thats it!  Easy as pie…or spaghetti…or fruit salad…I’m a dork.

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Happy Easter everyone!  I meant to post this yesterday but I just didn’t have the time.  I made this for my son for Easter this year and I thought I’d teach you a’ll how to make it for yourself or your little ones.  I don’t have much time to write this post so I’m just going to jump right into it!  Have fun!

Cost: Around $8-$12 depending on what you have on hand.

Supplies:

  • A blank T-shirt in a bright color.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $3 but I also find that the Garanimals brand at Walmart goes on sale alot and has good quality blank shirts for appliqueing.
  • Felt:  White, pink, and brown.  I buy my felt sheets for $0.37 at Hobby Lobby.
  • Two buttons in odd sizes.
  • Fabric paint or ink.  I used a “TeeJuice” pen in brown for my letters.  You can find them at the craft store for around $3.50.
  • Foam letter stamps.  (If you did the Alphabet Pillow tutorial then you now own a set or know where you can borrow some.)
  • A sewing machine and contrasting thread.
  • Transfer webbing.  You’ll only need a little bit for this project but I always have some on hand to do my appliques.  You can buy it in yardage for about $2 per yard at the fabric/craft stores.  I LOVE this stuff and use it ALL the time so if you’re going to follow these tutorials, you’ll see me using it a lot I’m sure.  Basically all it is is a fusible backing that you iron on to your appliques which allows you to iron your appliques on to your t-shirt (or other item) before you stitch.  It makes the applique stable so that it is easy to stitch on with your machine and it makes the overall image more durable for future washing.  Great stuff.  I couldn’t craft without it.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • A hot iron, no steam.
  • An ironing board.

Ok, thats your list of supplies.  Gather it up and meet me back here for your instructions…

Ready?  Lets make this thing.

  1. Wash and dry your t-shirt to avoid shrinking after the applique is on.
  2. Lay your shirt out flat and create your design by laying a piece of paper onto the shirt where you’d like the applique to go and then drawing your design onto the paper based on how big you’d like it to be on the shirt.  I like to freehand draw my designs since I like them to look kind of unkempt and messy (like kids art) but if you have no confidence in your artisitc abilities you could google a bunny head image and print it off and use it as your design.  Heres what I did on mine:
  3. The design is just a rough sketch of what you’re trying to accomplish.  You basically just need the design to ensure that the applique isn’t too big or too small for your t-shirt.  After you have it drawn out, cut out the main pieces; like the head and the ears.
  4. Now, lay your main pieces (head and ears) onto your white felt and cut around them (I cut mine a rectangular or square around my design pieces).
  5. Do the same with your other design elements; pink bunny ears parts, pink bunny nose, brown chocolate messy mouth part.  I don’t really make “patterns” for these elements, I just eyeball it.  Anyway, the main thing to understand is that you just want big enough felt squares/rectangles cut out to fit your design pieces.
  6. Once you’ve got all those felt pieces cut out.  Lay them out on your transfer webbing (trans web rough side toward the felt), and cut your trans web out in the same size pieces as your felt pieces.
  7. Next, take your felt pieces with their trans web backing pieces and with a hot, dry iron, iron the trans web onto the felt pieces one by one.  (If these instructions are a little foggy to you, refer to the instructions  on your trans web).
  8. Once you have adhered all the trans web pieces to their coordinating felt pieces you can use the paper backing side of the felt pieces to draw out your design elements.  Below I have drawn out my inside bunny ears, my bunny nose, and my chocolate mouth piece, as well as my extra candy bar piece (you can leave out the candy bar if you’d like).  Ignore the little slivered piece.  I didn’t use it in my design.
  9. Now that you have your pieces drawn out on your felt, use your sharp scizzors and cut them out into their individual design elements.
  10. On your t-shirt, lay out all your design pieces to be sure that you like them and to get an idea for what order to iron them onto your shirt.
  11. Once you have a plan of action, remove your pieces from your shirt and then carefully peel away the paper backing to expose the rubbery trans web side of your felt pieces.
  12. Lay your t-shirt flat on your ironing board and place your first piece where you’d like and then set it to your shirt with a hot iron pressing firmly (trans web side to the shirt) and moving slowly over your felt piece.
  13. Continue layering your pieces on this way until your design elements are iron securely in place.  I ironed my bunny ears first since I knew they’d be somewhat tucked under the head and then continued with the rest of the elements from bottom to top.
  14. Once you have all the elements on there, get out your alphabet stamps and find the letters that spell “hopped up”.
  15. Using the same fabric stamping technique as you learned from the “Alphabet Pillow Tutorial” spell out “hopped up” on your t-shirt.  TIP:  Start with the middle letters first and work out so you can center the words under your design.
  16. Once you’ve got your phrase on there and the ink/paint has dried, heat set your letters with a dry iron.
  17. At this point you can simply sew on your button eyes and be done if you’d like.  The trans web won’t hold up but for just a few washes, but if you just want something quick and cute for your little one to wear for one day, it would work fine.  But, I really like to finish my appliques with a contrasting stitch that not only secures the design to the shirt more permanently but also gives more detail and quirkiness to the design.
  18. So grab your machine and stitch down your applique at the edges of the design, being sure to stitch over each of the design elements and add special detail where you’d like.  I am NOT by any means a great seamstress so I work kinda slow and my lines are NEVER straight, but once again, I like things a little “messy” looking and I think that it adds to the feel and look of the design.  So don’t be afraid if you “screw up”.  It will just add to the character of the shirt.
  19. Hand sew your mismatched button eyes onto your bunny.  If you’re making this for a girl, it would be super cute I think to make a ribbon hair bow and tack that onto the bunny’s head.

And there you go!  Hope you like it!  The perfect shirt for your little Easter bunny who maybe has had a little too much candy today! 🙂

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